From the Courts
February 12, 2016
Questelles resident charged with fire at ULP South Leeward office

A resident of Questelles has been charged in connection with a fire that broke out last week at the constituency office of Unity Labour Party (ULP) caretaker for South Leeward, Jomo Thomas.{{more}}

Ricardo ‘General’ Samuel was charged with having in his possession items, intending without lawful excuse, to use the said items to destroy the ULP South Leeward constituency office.

A barefooted Samuel stood before chief magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias on Tuesday, sporting a swollen lip, which he alleged was caused by a beating he was given by police when he was apprehended.

Samuel told Browne-Matthias that he wanted to be taken to the Mental Health Centre.

Senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche, although openly stating his disbelief of Samuel’s claim of insanity, made an application for him to be sent to the Mental Health Centre for evaluation.

Browne-Matthias then ordered that Samuel be sent to the Mental Health Centre for 14 days for observation. He will return to court March 1.

The fire at Thomas’ office was the second to have occured there in less than five months; the first, which took place in October 2015, having completely destroyed the upper wooden section of the building. However, last week’s arson attempt was foiled as only a small section of the building was damaged.

Thomas, who lives in Campden Park, said that around midnight last Friday he received a call alerting him to the fire. He said police officers were able to put out the fire before it caused serious damage.

“What happened is that the building is made of groove ply… it appears to me that a window was broken and something was thrown through the window; in fact, it was a stone that was found inside the office,” the constituency caretaker stated. Thomas also said the wooden structure was doused with gasoline or another flammable accelerant, then set ablaze.(AS)